SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The annual matchup between Grambling State University and Southern University known as the Bayou Classic will be played next April in Shreveport.
The 47th annual matchup between the two HBCUs will be played on Saturday, April 17, 2021, at Independence Stadium in Shreveport.
Renovation work scheduled to begin in January at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, prompted the Bayou Classic organizers to find new location for the game.
“To have it right here in our hometown. Right here in our backyard, again it’s a big day for everybody,” said Mayor Adrian Perkins.
The Bayou Classic was set for April 17 after the SWAC announced the postponement of football to the spring due to the pandemic.
“Southern and Grambling both have a rich history that is woven through families across this state. Alumni and fans in North Louisiana will be thrilled to see the Jaguars and Tigers battle in Independence Stadium” said Perkins.
Bayou Classic organizers said the plan is to replicate activities and events leading up the game. The goal is to keep the same vibe as if the game were being held in New Orleans.
“We always look forward to playing Southern in the Bayou Classic each year,” said Grambling State University President Richard Gallot. “While we won’t be able to do so at the Superdome, we are thankful to Mayor Perkins, the City of Shreveport, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Caddo Parish Commission, and other local sponsors for extending the opportunity to continue this time-honored tradition in their city.”
Southern University’s president said the biggest challenge is uncertainty during the pandemic. He said city and school officials are planning with COVID-19 precautions at the forefront to ensure the game stays close to home.
“As we strive together to stay safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty, we are looking forward to enjoying the return of our sports programs next Spring and to welcoming back our loyal fans to support our teams and student-athletes. We are especially excited to reschedule our longstanding Bayou Classic football game. A huge thank you to Mayor Perkins, the City of Shreveport, and the Shreveport-Bossier Sport Commission, who are working in collaboration with our Bayou Classic partners to temporarily host the largest black college football game showcasing HBCU talent and achievement” said SU System President Ray L. Belton.
The last time the game was played in Shreveport was in 1973. Grambling won 19-14. It was moved to New Orleans the next year and became the Bayou Classic.
The last time the Bayou Classic was not played in New Orleans was in 2005, due to Hurricane Katrina.
Southern won last year’s Bayou Classic 30-28.
Just like it is every year, the game will be televised. More details regarding the Bayou Classic, including ticket information, will be released at a future date.
The 48th Annual Bayou Classic is still scheduled to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana in November of 2021.